After Orgill's first ever e-Volution Online Buying Event, the virtual-event organizers tallied up the attendance -- nearly ten thousand retailers, plus many of the industry’s top vendors and service providers.
All that virtual activity resulted in record buying activity. The Memphis-based distributor said the level of sales "far exceeded the results of any previous dealer market in the company’s history including last fall’s live event."
The e-Volution Online Buying Event ran from Aug. 24 through Sept. 4 featuring special deals, seasonal merchandise and new product buying opportunities.
“Because this is the first time we have ever held an event like this, we weren’t quite sure what to expect,” says Boyden Moore, Orgill’s president and CEO. “Now that it’s over, I can say that we couldn’t be more pleased with the results. While we knew this event could not replace the entire live Orgill Dealer Market experience, based on the results, it was clear that customers and vendors embraced the concept.”
Orgill customer Braden Mims from Dozier Hardware in Alabama also liked what he saw in the virtual format.
“We do a lot of work in advance of the markets so we typically have a lot of our orders prepared before the events,” Mims says. “This honestly made the whole buying process a lot easier for us. This helped us keep everything much more organized and really upgraded our overall experience. We’ve wanted to see this kind of online, digital experience become a bigger part of the markets for a while, so this entire effort is much appreciated.”
The decision to convert to the e-Volution Online Buying Event came in May when safety precautions surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak prompted Orgill to cancel its in-person Fall Dealer Market that had been scheduled for Aug. 27-29 in Las Vegas.
Moore explained: “There were a number of factors that led us to this decision, including an abundance of caution as it related to the safety of our employees, customers and vendors as well as consideration for how a market would function in an atmosphere where strict social distancing would likely still be required."
The event leaned on the remote communication abilities of Zoom.
“I think it’s safe to say that I probably had more remote vendor interaction in the last couple weeks than I’ve had in the last couple years,” adds Mims. “This was really helpful in allowing us to reach out and connect with the vendors we needed to talk to.”